Cloudy Bay ‘Te Wahi’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010


Some time after Cloudy Bay’s acquisition by the multinational luxury goods firm LVMH, there were rumours that the company would look towards Central Otago for producing a Pinot Noir as a companion to the Marlborough wine. This posed the question: How would this affect the perception of Cloudy Bay as an iconic New Zealand brand firmly based in Marlborough? The secret was revealed last year that ‘Te Wahi’, a Central Otago Pinot Noir from the outstanding 2010 vintage had indeed been made and would be released in May this year.

The presentation and labelling of the wine is very tasteful and in the style of the ‘Te Koko’. It doesn’t highlight Central Otago at the expense of Marlborough, but instead adds another string to the Cloudy Bay bow. In many people’s view, Cloudy Bay may be the one New Zealand wine brand that could easily take on board fruit from other regions, such as Central Otago and Hawke’s Bay, without any loss in esteem, and indeed make it a stronger representation of this country.

‘Te Wahi’ is Maori for ‘the place’ and the name is deemed to be particularly appropriate as the Pinot Noir variety can strongly reflect its place of origin. The wine does show the black berry and cherry flavours that are typical of Central Otago providing a contrast to the Marlborough version. Unlike many other 2010 vintage Central Otago wines, ‘Te Wahi’ is carried by aromatic fruit and significant acidity rather than prominent tannin extract and structure. To me, it doesn’t speak of a more specific place than the broad Central Otago region, so it will be interesting to see if the Cloudy Bay team become more focussed in the origin of the fruit, keeping to one sub-region. This of course leads to the making of a terroir-expressive wine, which is, of course, what Pinot Noir can do so well. www.cloudybay.co.nz


  • Cloudy Bay ‘Te Wahi’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010

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